Getting Started

A month ago, I presented a session to my professional organizing colleagues at the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers. NAPO has more than 4000 professional organizer/productivity consultant members, with over 800 attending conference. Standing in front of even a subsection of this group was enough to get me shaking in my heels.

I am no stranger to public speaking. I present frequently. But I found myself wondering, “Who do I think I am to deliver information to this group of smart and talented women and men? Why did I get myself into this?” Beneath my last-minute jitters I knew the answer was that my passion for helping people with AD/HD is what led me to immerse myself in the subject, constantly experiment with client solutions, and want to share this knowledge with other organizers.

My passion for what I do caused me to act without second-guessing myself. In that hour before my presentation I was leading with a different part of me: fear. The choice I had was to be led by that fear or to take my focus to a different place, to reconnect with the passion that brought me there in the first place.

How did I do it?

  • Deep, full breaths (but not hyperventilating)
  • Repeating the phrase, “I am going to do great!”
  • Visualizing myself walking through each part successfully
  • Arriving at the room early to get set up and get my pulse and breathing to a calm state
  • Smiling – to a room of empty chairs and then a room of full chairs

As I write this first blog for my new website I am reminded of those questions of self-doubt. Why do this? The answer is simple. My mission is to help people live their best lives. It’s more than a job, it’s a vocation. Sounds grandiose, but it’s true. Organizing and coaching bring together all the talents and┬áskills I have developed thus far in my life. So I get to live my best life by helping others live theirs, which is pretty awesome.

Truth is, there’s only one way to get started, and that is to start–to take action. I did that when I sent in my conference proposal and again when I overcame my fears about being able to do the thing that I wanted to do in the first place. And┬ástarting what I am doing again today.

How about you? What are you worried about starting? How can you overcome fear and take action?

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Kate Varness is a Certified Professional Organizer specializing in Chronic Disorganization.